Enabling Positive Transition to University: Evaluating an App-Based Positive Psychology Intervention with UK First Year Undergraduate Students

Roger Bretherton, Frances Longstaff, Joey Askew, Zoe Yovcheva-Dimov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Starting university is a key life transition, and a potential source of psychological distress in first year university students. Those who manage the university transition effectively report high levels of optimism, hope, self-efficacy, emotional intelligence and self-regulation.
Methodology: This study evaluated the effect of an app-based multi-component positive psychology intervention (MPPI) delivered to undergraduates within the first semester of university. Ninety-two first year university students were randomly allocated to an app-based MPPI (n = 46) or an active control journaling condition (n = 46) for six weeks.
Results: The MPPI condition reported significant increases in life satisfaction after three and six weeks of the intervention; plus, significant increases in positive affect and self-efficacy, and decreases in negative affect after six weeks.
Discussion: The effect of exercise dosage and follow-up period is reviewed. The differential effects of the varied psychological intervention are considered in the light of the Synergistic Change Model.
Conclusions: App-based MPPIs are presented as a scalable cost-effective approach to supporting student transition to university.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Positive Psychology (EJAPP)
Volume6
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • positive psychology
  • app-based interventions
  • student wellbeing
  • mental health promotion
  • self-efficacy
  • subjective wellbeing

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